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The Gothic

A Reader


Edited By Simon Bacon

What is the Gothic?

From ghosts to vampires, from ruined castles to steampunk fashion, the Gothic is a term that evokes all things strange, haunted and sinister.

This volume offers a new look at the world of the Gothic, from its origins in the eighteenth century to its reemergence today. Each short essay is dedicated to a single text – a novel, a film, a comic book series, a festival – that serves as a lens to explore the genre. Original readings of classics like The Mysteries of Udolpho (Ann Radcliffe) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay) are combined with unique insights into contemporary examples like the music of Mexican rock band Caifanes, the novels Annihilation (Jeff VanderMeer), Goth (Otsuichi) and The Paying Guests (Sarah Waters), and the films Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro) and Ex Machina (Alex Garland).

Together the essays provide innovative ways of understanding key texts in terms of their Gothic elements. Invaluable for students, teachers and fans alike, the book’s accessible style allows for an engaging look at the spectral and uncanny nature of the Gothic.

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‘About Us: Salvage’,, 2017 accessed 4 April 2017.

Adams, Carol, The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory (Cambridge: Polity, 1990).

Aguirre, Manuel, Closed Space: Horror Literature and Western Symbolism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990).

Aizenberg, Edna, ‘“I Walked with a Zombie”: The Pleasures and Perils of Postcolonial Hybridity’, World Literature Today 73.3 (1999), 461–6.

Alcott, Louisa May, Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott, ed. M. B. Stern (New York: Harper Collin, 1975).

Aldana Reyes, Xavier, ‘Gothic Affect: An Alternative Approach to Critical Models of the Contemporary Gothic’, in Lorna Piatti-Farnell and Donna Lee Brien, eds, New Directions in 21st-Century Gothic: The Gothic Compass (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2015), 11–23.

——. ‘Gothic Horror Film, 1960–Present’, in Glennis Byron and Dale Townshend, eds, The Gothic World (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), 388–98.

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